Art Portfolios: CHS Students and the Scholastic Competition


Submitted art by Raechel Zeller

Chelsea High School has many talented and creative students, and art teacher Laura Naar has helped many of those students find their voices through creativity and artwork.

The students of CHS who made portfolios are creating art pieces that are meant to provide their audiences with a lesson or a message.

“The kids work so hard on them and put their heart and soul into it, and it is really exciting when the art comes together,” Naar says.

The requirements for portfolios are to construct at least eight pieces that convey a well-known message. Compared to the art pieces that are done in an average art class, many of the portfolio pieces take longer periods of time to accomplish; some of the art pieces even take up to an entire trimester to complete. Because of the time and effort put into portfolios, there are many difficulties a student can encounter while working on his or her project.

Naar says the most difficult challenge of these projects is “coming up with an idea that is conceptual and that can be conveyed through an art medium and figuring out how that medium will tell a story or idea.”

During the four years that students at CHS have been submitting portfolios, Naar has been involved with students. However, she still makes sure the each of the projects are the student’s own.

“I check in on them, but I am more of a coach for my students who are making portfolios,” Naar says.

She thinks of her students as hardworking and diligent, and she allows those who are are making portfolios the space needed to grow, as well as providing the guidance needed to fulfill their goals as artists. Students who enter their artwork into the Scholastic competition have the chance to have their works displayed in Detroit or even New York.

Many students express themselves through art and through their different art mediums. Those could include photography, mixed media, painting, Lino prints, and a variety of others.

One of Chelsea’s students, Raechel Zeller, is creating a portfolio using mixed media as her medium. Mixed medium art more often than not takes artists a lot more time when creating each of the individual portfolio pieces. Some of the materials that are being used in Zeller’s pieces include dried flowers, paint, charcoal, beads, construction paper, and many other elements.

Zeller spoke on how she has been working on her art portfolio for quite a while now, and how she will be able to enter pieces in this year’s scholastic competition. Zeller also spoke about how creating her art helps her express her emotions; she feels she is able to put her feelings and emotions into her art and truly create something beautiful.

“It helped me express thoughts and emotions that I thought before I could not express, and it was like a burden lifted off my shoulders,” she says.